Japan not against CPEC, says envoy

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Salahuddin Haider

Karachi

Japanese Ambassador Takashi Kurai has dispelled the impression that his country was against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying this is not true, and “we hope that this treaty will be fully implemented. Speaking at periodical meeting of English Speaking Union of Pakistan, he referred with great pride the strong relationship between Tokyo and Islamabad, saying these were more than 70 years old, and should grow to its full potential.
There is much to be done, trade volume needed to rise,. Balance of payment, presently at ratio of 1:6 in Japan’s favour, needed to be more balanced. Pakistan-Japan Business Council has been in existence since long, working to enhance economic and trade ties, but much more was needed to be done.
Pakistani businessmen must look for untapped sources, he said and revealed that only last week he had called on Tehrik Insaaf chief Imran Khan, to take over as new prime minister of this country, and assured him of his country’s complete support in building a power social sector like education, health, and provision of clean and healthy water supply. These are also Pakistan’s preferences.
Kurai further said that CPEC should be mutually beneficial to participating countries, some fundamental ought to be fulfilled for Japan to consider being its part.
Asked about Japanese plan to revive the Karachi Circular Railway, he said, two years ago, this was considered as a project for Japanese investment but government of Pakistan turned it into CPEC project. He denied that unlike USA, France, Germany, and England, Japan was lagging behind or to be more emphatic lacked less enthusiastic in transferring technology to Pakistan, “Absolutely not” was his prompt answer to the question.
He said Japanese investment in automotive industry had developed vendor industry greatly, and today bye products and parts of automobile industry showed enormous improvement.
About tourism promotion, he said security became a major handicap and discouraged Japanese tourists, coming in groups to see Moenjodaro, Taxila etc, but when security will improve and fear will vanish, surely Pakistan will benefit tremendously from selling its enormously scenic spots to Japan and the world.
Earlier, the President of EUSP Aziz Memon welcoming him, highlighted his being four-time appointments as ambassador to Russia, and said that his fluency in Russian language was great help to art of diplomacy.

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